Christians are crazy…crazy like a fox.
OCTOBER 13, 2022
Christians are crazy, crazy like a fox. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free. And Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery, again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the 17th chapter of Acts and we’re talking about the scandal of the cross and why it’s so scandalous. And if you’ve been listening, we have seen that it’s scandalous because God doesn’t hang on a cross. God rules from a throne with thunder and lightning and armies and stuff. You don’t find God struggling and dying on a cross. And so, that becomes a scandal. And so, people who believe in God say I get the God part, the cross part is nonsense because that’s not what a real God does. And so, they worship Zeus or the moral equivalent of Zeus, if they believe in God at all. And so, the cross becomes a scandal, it really does because it reflects a God who suffers and God’s not supposed to suffer. Then there’s another thing and I mentioned it yesterday. I would suggest that the first, to the first century Jew and the 21st century American, the cross of Christ isn’t, well, it’s just not logical, that’s what Paul said in I Corinthians 1, it’s foolishness to everybody when they hear it, that doesn’t make sense, they say. And it’s hard for us who are on the inside to understand how those on the outside can look at the Christian faith and say, that’s crazy. It’s counterintuitive about everything, the gospel’s counterintuitive. I mean, you’re supposed to be good and pure, pray a lot and be religious and God will notice and bless you. Divine earthly reward, divine earthly retribution, and Jesus said, no, that’s not right. You are really messed up. And you’re really sinful. And I love you. Is that okay? And we go, no, that’s crazy. And if you don’t get the craziness of the Christian faith, you don’t get the Christian faith. It’s why I get criticized so much for teaching grace. Grace is a lot of things. It’s not, as somebody said in a the book, a blue eyed blonde. Grace is the pouring out, without any reason whatsoever of God’s mercy on people who don’t deserve it. And people who think they deserve it, never experience it. You’ve got to know, by the way, love in response, and I’ve said this a thousand times and you’ve heard it a thousand times. Love in response to goodness is not love, it’s reward. The only way, and this is the counterintuitive part. The only way you can know love is to be unlovable. The only way you can know love is when you don’t deserve it. And that doesn’t make a bit of sense. Our whole culture is built on action and reward. Bad action, you get punished. Good action, you get reward. Study long and into the wee hours of the morning, burning the candles around the books of the course you’re taking at the university. And if you’re willing to do that, you’ll make an A. And God says, if you sleep all night, if you sleep all night and never crack a book and flunk, I’m going to give you an A anyway. I think I’ve told you the story of our daughter, Robin, when she was in high school. She is incredibly bright and an amazing student. And they put her in an AP class of the advanced, good students. And she felt overwhelmed. She came home and said, dad, I can’t do this class. It’s too much for me. And if you’re the father of a daughter, you know exactly what you do in those situations, you fix it. That’s your job description. So, I went down to the high school, where they were registering and I went to somebody at the registration table. I said, my daughter has been assigned an AP course in English. She doesn’t feel like she can do it. And I’m here, to make sure that she doesn’t have to. And he said, well, but you’re going to have to talk to the head of the English department. So, we went up two floors and went into the office and the head of the English department, a wonderful lady, by the way, looked up and saw us standing at the door and our daughter pretty upset. And she got the students who were in her office, out of the office and got me and Robin into her office and sat down before we began to pour out the story. And I said, my daughter says the AP class is too much and I’m here to make sure she doesn’t have to take it. And this teacher said, I get that. Then she turned to Robin and said, let me make a, let me ask you something. If you, if I promise to give you an A in that class, even if you failed it. If I promise that you have an A, before you sit one day in that class, would you take it. Now my, Robin is not stupid. And she went, well, yeah, I could do that. And so, the teacher said you got an A. Now, let me tell you at the end of the story, she earned that A. And she was very good at it, but what the teacher did was an illustration of the gospel. The same, as I told you, the beginning of the week, all of life illustrates Bible doctrine. It was counterintuitive. And I wanted to say to the teacher, you can’t give an A, before she takes the class. You can’t promise an A, even if she fails. You can’t do that. But she did, in the same way God did that for us. And the methodology of God doing that was on the cross, I Corinthians 2:11 through 12.
No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
That’s a description of a believer, but don’t forget that it is also a description of those who aren’t believers. And if they’re not believers, cut a little bit of slack, this stuff really does sound crazy. I remember one time I was speaking at Boston University for one of, it was called Campus Crusade in those days, it’s CRU today, for one of their organizations, there was a young man there and there were students from Harvard and he was from Harvard and he was dating a girl who was a student at Boston University. And he was the perfect figure of an intellectual. He came up to me and said, could I, could I ask you a question? And I thought he was going to ask me about the Graf-Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis or something. He said, I’m in love and I don’t understand it. And then he told me about the girl that he had met at Boston University. And he said, I’ve never felt this way. It’s just not logical the way I feel. And I said, son, love is never logical and neither is the cross. And so, a part of the scandal of the cross is that it really is crazy. Part of the scandal of the cross is that it doesn’t make sense. Part of the scandal of the cross is that it’s counterintuitive. And those of us who are Christians and who have been Christians for very long, need to remember that and cut slack for pagans who don’t understand and who will think it’s crazy when they first hear it. And so, you’ve got to learn how to translate, to put it in language that can be understood, to say it in a way so God begins to do his work in the hearts of those who are on the outside. I remember my own experience with the Bible. I had a graduate school education, thought I understood everything and that I was an intellectual, but I realized my ministry was going down the tubes and then I came running to Jesus and the Bible started making sense. What was the difference? It was the same me, the same mind, but God’s Spirit took what was crazy and said, it’s not crazy. It’s true. It’ll change your life. And the lives of everybody that you know. And so, Christians are crazy, crazy like a fox. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Steve Brown there, wrapping up another great week of teaching from Acts. Remember, if you missed any episode, you can stream them anytime you want for free at Keylife.org and of course, Steve will return tomorrow along with Pete Alwinson for Friday Q&A at which time they will tackle this question, do I have to keep on confessing? Hm, tune in and find out. And if you haven’t heard, Steve has a new book coming out in the next few weeks. It’s called Laughter and Lament and to borrow a phrase from Steve. It’s not half bad. We’ll talk more about that soon, but I have to say one of my all time favorites from Steve is a book called A Scandalous Freedom. If you haven’t read it, allow us to intrigue you by sending you a special booklet called Radical Freedom, Surprising Faithfulness. It features excerpts from A Scandalous Freedom and I know you’ll find it to be a refreshing reminder about the radical nature of grace. Claim your copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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